Air conditioners are essential to indoor comfort during hot periods of the year. We expect them to be ready as the hotter seasons start to approach us, and more often than not, we find that the air conditioner isn’t as cool or as efficient as it used to be.
Over time, air conditioners become less energy-efficient as they accumulate dust and mould inside the filters and fan coil. While some air conditioning issues are caused by the age of the unit, most issues can be prevented entirely with regular servicing.
Here are some practices you can do to keep your air conditioner in top shape for the hot summer months:
Clean the filters
Excessive dust on the filter can obstruct airflow inside the air conditioner. Low airflow due to dust accumulation can greatly reduce the aircon’s cooling efficiency, and you may find that your air conditioner does not feel as cold as it used to. Fortunately, you can clean your filters yourself without too much effort.
You can access the filters underneath the plastic cover of the air conditioner. Make sure the power is off before attempting to open the air conditioner. Carefully unscrew the case to your air conditioner, remove the filters covering the evaporator coil and wash them with mild detergent and warm water. Pat the filters dry, place them back over the evaporator coil and screw the cover back on. If you’re not comfortable with taking the cover off yourself, filter cleaning is performed during aircon general servicing and chemical cleaning.
Wash the evaporator coil
While the filters catch most of dust and mould spores that are circulated through the air conditioner, impurities unfortunately do build up on the evaporator coil over time. The evaporator coil is the site of cooling in the air conditioner, and loose dust and mould spores can become dislodged by airflow and circulated through the room. You don’t want you and your family breathing in these particles, so it’s important to routinely clean this coil.
The evaporator coil has a high surface area and some of its components are very thin and delicate, so you must take care when cleaning it. To clean the evaporator coil, you can use a soft cleaning brush or a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment. Some air conditioner maintenance companies offer chemical cleaning services where a specialised chemical solution is washed over the evaporator coil using a water jet. This sterilises the evaporator coil and prevents bacteria and mould growth for several months after cleaning.
Empty the water tray and vacuum the drainage pipe
The water tray catches water vapour that condenses on the evaporator coil. This tray drains into a pipe, which usually leads to an outlet in the bathroom or laundry. Impurities in the air such as bacteria, mould, algae and dust can become mixed with the water in this piping system, creating a sludge mixture that can block parts of the pipe over time. This causes the aircon to leak or spurt out water when it is turned on.
The water tray is inside the air conditioning units, and it is best to have it periodically disinfected by a professional to kill any microorganisms growing in it. Professional air conditioner cleaning companies also use high power wet vacuum to clear out any sludge stuck in the drain pipe. If you have a strong wet vacuum, you can also attempt to clean the drain pipe yourself.
Top up refrigerant gas
Refrigerant gas circulates through all air conditioner systems inside piping. The gas is compressed into a liquid in the condenser and allowed to warm back up into gas in the evaporator coil, taking heat energy from the surrounding air. While refrigerant gas is technically inside a closed piping system, small amounts of gas can escape through gaps in the piping over time. Air conditioners cannot cool without refrigerant, and when your aircon blows warm air it is a sign that your aircon may be out of gas.
Fortunately, most aircon servicing companies carry refrigerant gas cannisters for topping up gas. Gas top-ups are performed on the outdoor condensing unit, and while you could technically top up your own gas, you will need a cannister of refrigerant and equipment to check gas gauge.
Get Data on Your Aircon Usage
It’s important to also routinely check your air conditioner’s health and ability to function. The sensors and softwarefrom Ambi Climate’s products provide not only excellent WiFi enabled Air Conditioning, but the accompanying app provides excellent insights and data for your usage. Thanks to our app, you can keep track of usage metrics such as runtime, mode usage, favourite AC temperature points, as well as visualise the factors that affect your comfort the most. With in-depth analysis of your air conditioners performance, you can measure and optimise how you use this extremely important tool for climate management.
These are some excellent tips on ensuring that your air conditioner is ready for summer, but if you’re looking for someone to fix your air conditioner, the team at Luce Aircon will use their experience and excellent customer service to tackle any AC issues.
The team of technicians at Luce Aircon provide general servicing, chemical cleaning, diagnostic and repair services for all air conditioner brands and types across Singapore. Check out https://www.luceaircon.sg/ for more information on servicing, buying and optimising air conditioners.